Donald Trump once claimed he could get away with shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue. Can he get away with publicly announcing impeachable offenses?
Trump has just declared a national emergency, in the absence of any actual emergency, for the purpose of spending on a border wall money that had been appropriated for other purposes.
In so acting, President Trump has violated Article 1, Section 7 of the United States Constitution: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives . . . ." and Article 1, Section 8: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law . . . ." and the Federal Anti-Deficiency Statute, as well as the Posse Comitatus Act.
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Trump has abused his power by publicly promoting his latest unconstitutional action using a series of falsehoods encouraging fear, bigotry, and hatred. He has falsely suggested that immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than non-immigrants, that illegal border crossings have been increasing in recent years, that terrorist groups have sent operatives to enter the United States through Mexico, and that applying for asylum is a threatening or criminal action.
Disbelieving his lies is not enough. The impeachment process was created for Congress to hold accountable those who abuse their high office.
A new Washington Post / ABC poll asked "Do you support or oppose Trump using emergency powers to build a border wall?" Sixty-six percent said "No." Thirty-one percent said "Yes."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls Trump's action "an end run around Congress" and a violation of the Constitution. Congressman Adam Schiff calls it "plainly unconstitutional" and warns that the real problem is Congress's failure to stand up to Trump.
Yet Democrats and Republicans alike are already busy declaring that future presidents will pick better causes around which to declare "national emergencies." This is not standing up to Trump. This is dangerous foolishness that leads to dictatorships.
Meanwhile, other activist groups are asking people to vaguely declare their dislike for Trump's latest outrage or to ask Congress to "stop" it, presumably using the nonexistent "Stop Badness" clause of the Constitution.
The role of Congress is not to defer to the judicial branch. It is to impeach. Click here to remind them.
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>> RootsAction.org Draft Articles of Impeachment
>> RootsAction.org Impeachment Strategy
>> RootsAction.org Impeachment FAQ
>> RootsAction.org Impeachment Campaign
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P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> Marjorie Cohn: If Trump Declares a National Emergency, He’ll Be Breaking the Law
>> IPA: Emergency Powers “Impeachable”: “All You Need is One Brave Member”
>> Video of Pelosi's Comments
>> Video of Schiff's Comments
>> The Hill: Pelosi warns GOP: Next president could declare national emergency on guns
>> New York Times: A Border Wall to Stop Terrorists? Experts Say That Makes Little Sense